Watching Early Bird "fly" around in his beloved Super Why costume that I made him last year for Halloween I realized that what I had done for that costume would also work as a knight's costume. Early Bird has spent a lot of time pretending to be a knight lately; especially now that he has Princess Lady Bug to save. So I went to the store and got two gray shirts for $3.47 each, some fleece in blue and red for $2 each, and a $5 "Warrior Kit" from the Halloween aisle that came with two small swords.
I wanted to paint a crest on the chest of the shirts so I sat down with the boys and the American Heraldry Society's website and let them design their own crests. I only insisted that they each have their birth order insignia as part of it.
To paint the crests I first cut out a paper shape to trace. I used one of my favorite Pinterest tips, to put a glue bottle cap on a paint bottle to "write" with. I traced around the paper shape with the glue cap paint, then using a brush I extended the outline some. The metallic paint that I purchased specifically for this project was much less metallic than I had hoped, and was a very thin paint that soaked through. When doing this project make sure you put paper inside the shirt to prevent bleeding through to the back.
I let that dry for half an hour and then got to work on the inside of the crest. I made the full background and then once it was dry painted the insignia on top. This was a mistake. The paint was so thin that even after several layers (letting it dry before adding another) the background pattern still showed through. If you are going to do this, make the insignia first and then make the background pattern around it.
I free-handed the pattern. The grid being so small made it difficult to paint. If I had to do it over again I would make the checks much bigger.
Once the paint was dry I hand sewed on the capes. I used fleece so that I would not have to hem any edges. I did Early Bird's cape first, sewing the cape at the shoulder seams. I didn't quite like the way it turned out so with Builder Boy's cape I folded the edge over at the ends which ended up giving the cape a flared look.
I used just a regular stitch going one way and then doubled back to reinforce it. I did the same with Early Bird's Super Why costume and it's been going through tough boy play and the washing machine for a year now and has held up.
Early Bird's cape was only half a yard. I think it would have looked better if it had been wider, like Builder Boy's.
Still, not too bad for only about $5.50 (not including paint and sword costs.) We're wearing them while learning about knights and we'll also be using them as our Halloween costumes.
The painting job took several hours just because of the need to dry in between layers and colors. The sewing took 30-45 minutes by hand I think? I consider this to be a fairly easy and quick project. My only regret is the insignia is not clear. But the boys don't care! They love their new knight costumes. And I made sure the shirts I got were big enough that they could be worn over jackets for cold weather trick-or-treating.